An Italian Island Summer by Sue Moorcroft
The summer reads are all out and about in bookshops, supermarkets and online retailers aplenty. Each year in the bookshop, a set of delicious posters would arrive with images of azure seas and lazy, summer days on them. All with a cool 'you've relaxed in the sun, now enjoy a refreshing swim and something light and fizzy as the sun dips'. The colours of the covers were either reflective of sea and sand (yellow and blue), or the ice-cream colours - soft pinks and vanilla.
I find my own habits changing from my 'cozies', to this promise of foreign climes and the spirit of adventure. A lot of authors are inspired by the places they visit on their own holidays and in the case of some (Karen Swan) visit the places they wish to write about as part of their research.
Today I have a new author for me on the blog. It's a blue and yellow cover, set in beautiful Italy and even better the author writes Christmas books.
After her marriage falls apart, Ursula Quinn is offered the chance to spend the summer working at a hotel on a beautiful island off the coast of Sicily, Italy. Excited by a new adventure, she sets off at once.
Ar Residenzia del Tringali, Ursula receives a warm welcome from everyone except Alfio, son of the Tringlai family. He gave up his life in Barcelona to help his mother Agata with the ailing business, and is frustrated with Ursula's interference - and she in turn is less than impressed with his attitude. As they spend more time together though, they begin to see each other in a different light.
But what with Ursula's ex-husband on her tail, family secrets surfacing and an unexpected offer that makes Alfio question his whole life, there's plenty to distract them from one another. Can she face her past, and he his future and together make the most of their Sicilian Summer?
I've only found a new author to enjoy haven't I?? First of all, if you are looking for a book where a plucky heroine changes her life completely, finds a passion in foreign climes, then this is for you!
Ursula is plucky, likeable and has a delightful family. She works hard at the hotel helping Agata with the running of it, and in the afternoon works in a ceramics studio under a renowned artist. She becomes a friend to Agata's daughter Nanda who has been left by her husband following the birth of their child. Gradually Ursula's own confidence grows especially after her own marriage fell apart.
Think hot Sicilian days, friendly nightlife that gets started at 10pm with a few beers, twisting streets and a beautiful harbour and you get the idea.
The romance is lovely and it feels a 50-50 split between Alfio's story and Ursula's. They sizzle off the page together and as a reader we are rooting for them.
The back of the book says it is perfect for fans of Philippa Ashley and Sarah Morgan. I would go one step further and say it's perfect for summer. A 5 Star read for me. I can't wait to read more by this author.